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collection of traih is printed in a superior style, upon excellent woven, or, as the French more properly term it, vellum riper.
---------- - -- -Furious Trnets concerning the Pecrage of Scotland, collected from
the Public Recordi, Original Injiruments, and Authentic Mamufcripts. To which is annexed an Aj pendix, containing many onyinat Pupers, &r. Edinburgh, 1791. 410. 75. 6d.jowed.
London. Murray. THIS useful little work, published by Mr. James Car
michael, contains several interesting memoirs concerning thc Scottish nobility. In his introduction the editor observes, that the years 1320 and 1606 are the most memorable in the annals of the peerage of Scotland : the former for their famous letter to the pepe, in support of their independency; the latter for the proceedings before the commisiioners of James VI. concerning their precedency. At this parallel the reader may perhaps smile, and think that real glory and personal vanity are Itrangely aflorted. A more remarkable epoch, forgotten by Mr. Carmichael, is that of 1488, when the Scottish peers almost unanimouily arose against their sovereign, who fell in the contest. The proceedings of 1606 are now publifhed, from the manuscripts of sir James Balfour, lyon king at arms to Charles I. which are prelerved in the Advocates' Library at Edinburgh: and the value of this article is encreased by the circumstance, that the records of the privy council for that year are now loft.
The fecond part of this publication contains notices from the unprinted books of parliament, collected by the fame learned antiquary, about the year 1610, a period when the Scottish records were much more perfect than they now are. The appendix is taken from original instrunients, from papers writ. ten by fir Lewis Stuart, lord advocate under the reign of Charles I. and by the late George Chalmers, writer to the fignet; men of diftinguished abilities, and well known to the learncd,' says our editor; but we know not what the idea annexed in the word liarned in Scotland may be, and are convinced that he must have uncommon learning who has ever heard of thcfe gentlemen.
Mr. Carmichacl clofes his introdution with a promife, that if the present publication inect with a favourable reception, lie ihall proceed to offer 20ther, by subscription, containing the continuation of the diplomas of the nobility, appearing on the face of the records (to use his own uncommon exprcilion), with excerpts from Kviner's Federa Angliic, fo far as concerns Scotiund. We do noc pretend rightly to underftaud Mr. Car.
michael's meaning in this paragraph, but, so far as we can difcover, his second work will be a supernumerary toil, whereas that before us has no small pretensions to utility.
In the firit part fir James Balfour has collected excerpts from the charters, produced by the several peers, in the noted contest concerning precedency, A D. 1606; and he has adduced extracts from the records illustrating the subject. The nature of this part will not admit of much quotation, and we shall content ourselves with a small specimen from the beginning.
ANGUS E. • The earle Angus compeirit not.
"Ex REGISTRO. Georgius, comes de Anguse, pater Isabellæ Douglas comitiffæ, de Mar et Garyoc?, 9 Novemb. anno Chr. 1398. et 8 ann. regui Roberti III. in rotul. chartarum.
"CR AUF URD. • Compeirit comes Craufordize. Producit ane infeftment gine be the said Robert the III. Directo fratri luo Davidi de Lindesay, comiti de Crausurd, of the barony of Craufurd-cum quatuor punctis coronc et in liberam regalitatem, io Decem. Anno 9. Roberti lll. in rotul. chartarum, &c.'
This part cloies with the dercee of precedency, issued in 1606.
The second part contains the extracts from the unprinted books of parliament. They commence at the year 1434, and end at the 30th of Oct. 1505. Though this be the most interesting division of the work, its nature will hardly admit of an extract; for, not to mention the uncouth language, its merit, taken in parts, is very minute, while the whole together supplies a mass of useful matter for various purposes of historical and constitutional information. • What Mr. Carmichael terms a third part is so brief, that it had better have formed the first article in the Appendix. It contains a certificate by the lord clerk register, sir James Murray, of Philiphaugh, concerning the ancient rolls of the Scottish parliaments, dated 27th Dec. 1705; inentioning the order in which the peers are arranged in the rolls, from the year 1469 to 1661 ; and the lords of the articles from 1471 to 1609.
The first article in the appendix is a translation of the fpirited letter of the Scottish nobles to the pope in the year 1320. The next is a copy of the first charter of the principality of Scotland by Robert III. in the year 1404 ; and the third, a charter of the same king, given in the capacity of guardian of the prince. No. IV. in the appendix is a memoir
concerning concerning the principality of Scotland, written in 1752, by the late George Chalmers, improperly divided into other are ticles, Nos. V. VI, VII. VIII. IX. X. XI. which ought all to have formed only one article. Mr. Chalmers proves very clearly that the principality stands limited to the person of the king's eldest son; and cannot by his death descend to his fon, or any other apparent heir of the crown, but returns to the king. The quesion was occasioned by the death of Frederic prince of Wales.
N'. XII. or more properly N°. V. is the contract of marriage between Mary queen of Scots, and the infamous Bothwell, dated 13th May, 1567, from an original copy, in the archives of the Scottish admiralty. The next article is a letter from Mary to the laird of Smeiton, dated at Carlisle the 25th day of June, 1568, which being of some curiosity, shall be fub mitted to the reader in modern language.
•Right trusty friend, "We wrote to you lately concerning our proceedings : and ever thank you for your constancy and fidelity to us, and our service, which you shall not repent, with God's grace, not doubting that you will continue therein, without suffering either danger or loss by our enemies. The one we shall reme, dy very soon, God willing; and the other we shall refund and repay you even to the last penny.
'The last messenger, departed from us the 22d inst. and is to get his answer from the queen [Elizabeth] at his by-palling. If she will not assist us, we shall have both men and money from France. We expect an answer very soon, because Middle, more, on whose return from the earl of Murray it was delayed, paffed by here up throw the 23d inft. We have in the mean time got by chance fome writings of our enemies, which difcover ma:.y things, especially that different persons of the court and council of England promise the earl of Murray all , kindness againit us. Which writings when the queen fees (for we have fent them to lord Herries for that purpose), we are ailured she will be offended; yea, perhaps, forbid them to interfere further in our affairs. Thus referring our service to your faithfulness, we commit you to the protection of God Almighty.'
No. XIV. contains diplomas of the nobility, taken from the records by a late deputy keeper, as far as the words of limitation are mentioned in the several patents. The first title is that of the duke of Rothsay; and our editor shews that, according to Buchanan, and fir James Balfour, excerpts from a MS. by whom, dated 1627, are given, the eldest son of the Scot
tih monarchs was not born, but created, duke of Rothsay.
This question, lately agitated with the violence of party, we may have an occasion to examine on a future occasion : at present we shall only observe, that the equality of parties in the last election has occasioned a bold research, whether the prince of Wales had a title to vote, never having received formal investiture of his Scotish honours; though by some supposed indispensable, not only for that effect, but to prevent his titles of duke of Rothsay, earl of Carrick, lord of the illes, and of Kyle and Cunningham, and baron of Renfrew, from being mere usurpations. The other diplomas are chiefly those of the peers, whose votes were objected to at the last general election. Mr. Carmichael concludes his collection with the roll of the Scottilh parliament, A. D. 1706, called the Union Roll.
The editor deserves thanks for this publication, particularly of the parts extracted from the manuscripts of fir James Balfour. We wish that more attention were paid to ancient papers of real merit in Scotland, and recommend the publication of other curious manuscripts in the Advocates' Library: our northern brethren have too long lamented the loss of their recoşds, and, nevertheless, continued to increase that loss by a complete neglect of those that remain.
An Inquiry into the Nature of Zemindary Tenures in the landid
Property of Bengal, &c. in two Parts; with an Appendix. With some prefatory Remarks on a late Publication, entitled, a Dissertation concerning the landed Property of Bengal. By James Grant, late Serrijntendar of Bengal 2nd. Edition.
410. 55. Jewed. Debret. 1791. M R. James Grant, the author of this publication, from his
former official situation, and other advantages, is emia nently qualified to judge of the present subject, which is interesting in many respects. The matter at issue is, whether the Zemindars are feudal and heritable proprietors of their districts; or only collectors of the royal revenue from the Ryots, or husbandmen, with a fixt allowance for their labour. As European nations have not yet attained that degree of practical wisdom necessary even to form a juít idea of the veneration paid by the Asiarics to those most useful characters in society, the cultivators of the soil, it is no wonder that a sovereign, the sole proprietor of land, as representing the bodypolitic, and innumerable husbandmen his immediate tenants, presented a group absolutely grotesque, and unexampled, even to the English, accustomed to deeply-rooted aristocraticii
or rather oligarchical ideas. This observation is not intended to prejudge the question ; but to guard our minds against a prejudice, which might perhaps induce an erroneous decision, from analogy with our own forms of property.
Mr. Grant informs us, in his preface, that he was originally led to this discussion by observing the inconclusive specuJative mode of reasoning adopted on this subject in the depending impeachment: and he mentions the idea of a proprietory right in the Zemindars as quite a new doctrine. He then proceeds to offer some remarks on Mr. Rouse's differtation concerning the landed property of Bengal. This gentleman is supported by the whole force of administration and of op. pofition, who unite in ascribing proprietary rights to the Ze' mindars, as consonant to European policy; and, it may be added, to the influence of a king upon an oligarchy, and of the oligarchy upon the people, which forms the leading mode of European governments : some of which have acted without kirgs, but none without an oligarchy: and as to the agria cultors, or people in general, one might conclude from the forms eren of the English government, that none such exifted; the Populusque Romanus, or the AHMOE of the Greeks, being palled in total oblivion, in every public deed or ordinance. When such is the case, perhaps the French alone can form a notion of king and people, familiar to the heroic times of the Grecks, and now supposed to exist but in a different and defpotic form in India. I have alligned,' says Mr. Grant, 'to the sovereign in India the proprietary rights and functions ,of a British freeholder; and have left to the Zemindar all those which belong to him by custom, or grant, being very little more than what fall to the share of a steward of the great eltates in this country, as a reward for his trouble and management. The Ryots, as husbandmen, he computes at four fifths of all the males in the country.
The policy of acceding to Mr. Rouse's proposition, if it should be unfounded in fact, with all the accompanying reasoning upon it, isa maiter of secondary consideration, that may be postponed until the prior question hath first been regularly disposed of; though it might be remarked in the way of anticipation, that enjoining under parliamentary authority, a strict adherence in Bengal to the exilting regulations of the Mogul empire, if found to exclude great intermediate proprietary landholders, yet admitting of landed property as before described in favour of the peasantry uni. versally, would apparently be a measure so far from involving a Solecism in politics, that, on the contrary, it must unite the advantages of a necessary despotic government, with all the ease,